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CLEVELAND CUBS

The CLEVELAND CUBS were a Negro League baseball team in Cleveland in 1931 and 1932. Even though they were hampered by disarray in the Negro Leagues and the crumbling economy, the Cubs managed the best record for a pre-World War II Cleveland Negro League team at 29 wins and 24 losses in 1931. The team played a great deal of its games at Kinsman Hardware Field, a small venue that only held a few thousand fans. The Cubs boasted a young pitcher named LEROY ROBERT "SATCHEL" PAIGE on their roster for the 1931 season.

When Negro National League founder Rube Foster died in 1928, the league struggled to survive without its strong and charismatic leader. With the added strain of the Great Depression, the Negro National League failed after the 1931 season. Even though Cleveland finally had a successful franchise this year, it was impossible for it to continue on a national level without an organized league. Even though the Homestead Grays' owner Cum Posey planned to form a new league in 1932, the East-West League, his plans did not include the Cubs. It was unclear why, but the league planned to accept a new Cleveland franchise for 1932, the CLEVELAND STARS. The Cubs reported poor attendance figures for their games in 1931, as one game drew less than 1,000. The CLEVELAND GAZETTE theorized that it was the poor field conditions that kept fans away, not the team itself.

The Cleveland Cubs of 1932 opened the season in the Southern League and were different than the 1931 group. In fact a fellow 1931 Negro National League member, the Rube Foster Memorial Giants, managed by Jim Brown, moved to Cleveland and played as the Cleveland Cubs. Even though Satchel Paige was gone, the 1932 squad boasted future Hall of Fame outfielder Cristobal Torriente, in the twilight of his career. The team failed at the end of the 1932 season and their record was unclear.